Sunday, August 25, 2013


I am 5/12 done with Taxol! Just seven more weeks, and I...get to do radiation. Well, another milestone passed off, right? And with hair, eyebrows, and even eyelashes already starting to come back, I feel that I can do this. My real life will return.

However, it's not like I don't get some good things out of having cancer. I mean, Aunt Kathleen brought me an amazing peach pie the other night, still warm from the oven. She said is was one of two good things the family got out of Aunt Suzanne's marriage to Bill Burkhart -- Tony and the recipe for The Best Peach Pie ever. I agree. Both are fantastic! I might have eaten the entire pie in about three days. So much for losing weight on chemo!

I continue to feel so blessed. My friend Lisa has come to my last two chemo sessions - with treats! Random people in the ward tell me they pray for me daily. My mom, Benn, and Cheri took care of my kids yesterday for four hours while I had chemo. My cousin Emily texts me every time I have chemo to tell me she's thinking of me. I've had so much incredible support! Thank you all so much.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cancer update

Yesterday I was casually getting ready to go to bed while mourning the loss of my eyebrows and eyelashes. They are still falling out. In fact, I have about four eyebrow hairs left. Fortunately, one can draw on one's eyebrows. Eyelashes, not so much. I have some really great eyeshadow that has a lot of depth, and combine that with my wig's bangs, and it's not so noticeable. I guess. The few hairs on my head that are still hanging on have also been falling out. HOWEVER. I noticed something where my hair has already fallen out. My hair is growing back in!!!!!! Yes!!! I might have cried as I examined my hair fuzz with the intensity of a pubescent boy finding a chin hair.

When I was pregnant, I sort of forgot that the whole point of being pregnant was not to be pregnant, but to have a baby. When Sabrina was born, I forgot the point of feeding her during the night was so she'd grow big enough to sleep through the night. And I sort of forgot that the point of chemo is to be healthy and normal again. I WILL have hair again. I WILL have eyebrows, eyelashes, and (ahem) breasts again (these may own their existence to art rather than nature, but still). I felt the first bit of a step toward normality with the existence of hair fuzz. Still, I have 8 more Taxol treatments, 6 weeks of radiation, and Herceptin until July 2014 still to go. But yesterday, for a moment, I felt hope.

Of course, I'm going to have to start waxing my arms again soon. Crap.

First week of school

School has started! Every day I wake up, get ready, get the kids up and breakfasted, put on my hair, and am out the door! About half the time I can't believe how quickly I get to work, and the other half the time I can't believe I'm not there yet. I have in my head that school is SO CLOSE that sometimes the 3 minutes feels too long. Yes, I am a spoiled brat.

I love seeing the kids in the morning. The first morning I tried to get them up, Sasha snapped, "I want to stay in my ROOM." He's so dang adorable. Seriously. So I left him with his binkie and Brown Blanky, and he was up in a few minutes. Sadly, Sabrina especially believes that the only True Breakfast is cereal, so when I make muffins she bargains, "If I eat five bites can I have cereal?" Hopefully she'll be more open to seeing Real Breakfast as True Breakfast soon.

Sabrina doesn't start school until next Tuesday. This week is all half days, so the kindergarten would go every day for about an hour and a half. I guess the powers that be decided it's not worth it. She's really ready, though. Almost every day she asks if tomorrow, finally, she can go to kindergarten. She will love the social part and I think she'll love her teacher. Sabrina's a pleaser to some extent, too, so she'll love the positive reinforcement she gets from the learning.

My school is going great. I have never taught 6 classes in one day before. It's always been either block schedule or combined English/social studies, so repeating myself so many times is tedious. However, the kids are really great. I have four 7th grade English classes and two 8th grade classes. One of my 7th grade classes is 19 boys and 5 girls. Poor things. I'd almost rather have an all-boys class.

I've already met three of my students' parents outside of school, just running into them at the park, or whatever. Without hair, of course, because the first thing I do when I get home every day is take of my shoes, then my wig. I've still been wearing my hat/scarf thingys when I'm not teaching, but I feel I may have to wear the hair if I"m going to run into students and their parents all the time. Which I am, of course.

Overall, this week has gone great. I feel so dang lucky to have this job and that Zane can stay home most of the time with the kids. I think this will be a great school year!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Taxol #2

I was promised -- PROMISED -- that the second time I took Taxol I would likely not have a reaction. Well, I did. I am sorry. I feel I have disappointed my doctors and nurses. However, this reaction was not as bad. When I started the Taxol, the nurse sat with me for a moment, then needed to take care of another patient. Fine, I said. A few minutes later, I thought I started to feel the throat-tightening. I sat up rather abruptly. My nurse, who was very aware of me, asked me immediately if I was okay. "I think...I think it's happening again," I said, somewhat incoherently.

This reaction was headed off quickly and they didn't need to give me any more drugs, other than some Tylenol. Apparently, Tylenol helps. Then they stared the Taxol slowly, then got it up to the regular speed. I was very aware of any possible trouble breathing, but I got through the rest of it just fine.

Next time, my nurse told me they'll start off really slowly, then after about 10 minutes turn it up, then turn it up to full speed. Mom suggested that, since my reaction started at 5 minutes into the Taxol both times, that they just give me the whole does in 4 minutes. Great idea, Mom.

1/6 done with Taxol!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Today, Snowcrest had registration. I didn't need to be there, but I thought as a new teacher at the school it would be nice to be there. It was fun to see some students and staff, although I was the only teacher there that I saw.

I got to talk to some parents and students, but the most useful thing I did? Helped students open their lockers. What is more frustrating and scary than not being able to open your locker on the first day of school? Zombies, but that's about it.

The students came by my classroom if they have me next year. Some of them were confused by the name "Ms. Jones" over my door, until a 9th grader who is taller than me pulled it down. Then I put "Ms. Froerer" on my door since I can't reach over my door. Then a million people wanted to know "which Froerer are you." Ah, the joys of being at a small community school! They all already know and love me -- or at least my in laws! They were all really nice, and as long as I don't become a teacher zombie, I'm sure I'll have a great year.